Saturday, 29 December 2007

Tiger Tiger Burning Bright

Today I visited Marwell Zoo for the first time in ages. It always makes for a great day out, but seems to have undergone several improvements since I was last there.

My earliest childhood memory of zoos was the now infamous (and thankfully long gone) Southampton Zoo. This was the sort of zoo that gave zoos a bad name, with animals locked in tiny (and even to a small child they seemed tiny) cages. I hate political correctness, but when it comes to animal welfare the pc lobby does have a few good points. This place could have set a world record for the number of rules broken, not least for the chimpanzee, kept in captivity in cramped inadequate conditions who entertained the public by smoking lighted cigarettes they passed to him.

Marwell Zoo is only a few miles outside of Southampton but is light years away from the old zoo when it comes to conditions. Animals are well looked after in large open paddocks ( caged only when safety dictates) with plenty of room to lead as normal existence as possible. It is also world renowned for it's efforts in animal conservation, and has many endangered species not only on display but also in breeding programmes to help re-establish disappearing species into the wild.

The star of the show has to be the tigers. To see such awesome creatures close-up is almost humbling. Seeing them on tv just doesn't do them justice, these beautiful creatures simply ooze power and elegance. Sadly - and to the shame of the human race - the day may come when the only tigers left are those in captivity. Thanks to Marwell and other organisations like them they should hopefully never disappear completely.


Friday, 21 December 2007

Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year

glitter graphics

Glitter Christmas Graphics

Publish Post

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Frosty Morning

Frosty Morning, originally uploaded by Wurzel.

This morning was one of Mother Nature's specials. Heavy frost and bright sunshine.
I am lucky enough to be able to take photos of scenes like this less than 30 seconds walk from my back door.

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Faggot Man Uses Brain

After yesterdays out cry over the censoring of Fairytale of New York by Radio 1 their contoller - despite assurances yesterday that the decision was irreversible - has decided that the original will continue to be played after all.

A quote from their own newspage " Radio 1's controller Andy Parfitt says listeners are smart enough to distinguish between maliciousness and creative freedom." A sensible decision , and maybe a mantra that should be written in huge big letters on the office walls of every well-meaning crackpot organisation that tries to impose political correctness of any kind upon us in the future

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Fairytale Madness

Constantly topping "Favourite Xmas Song" polls, Fairytale Of New York by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl has become a Christmas classic since it's release in 1987.

This year, some idiot at Radio 1 has decided to censor it! Apparently, in his (or her) view the word "faggot" could cause offence and is being blanked out every time the song is played on that station.. The word "slut" elsewhere in the song has received the same treatment.

The censorship is not BBC-wide. Radio 2 is, and will continue to be, playing the original version. Presumably it's audience is deemed old enough to make up it's own mind how, and in what context, a word should be interpreted.

At the time of writing a BBC poll, with over 15000 votes was over 95% against the censorship. On Radio 1's own news web-page you will struggle to find any readers comment in favour. It's an overused cliché, but this certainly is political correctness gone mad. Anyone offended by either the words faggot or slut, used in the context of a husband and wife having a drunken argument, really should get a life. Their number must be so small that they are probably exceeded by those like me who find Unchained Melody offensive for no other reason than it is simply awful, perhaps we can have that one banned next,

The (original) lyrics in full HERE

Friday, 14 December 2007

Hubble Bubble Xmas Trouble - Latest Score

The current standings in the battle between the kittens and the xmas tree are as follows

Scores for the kittens.
All bottom branches bent down to the ground
Lower lights resting on carpet.
Hanging toy drum missing.
Fairy on the top now at strange angle
2ft high wicker snowman now laying face down.

Tree has only managed one revenge score so far.
Small pile of cat sick containing tinsel.

And still it's 10 days to Xmas !
Caught In The Act 3Caught In The Act 1
Caught In The Act 2
Caught In The Act

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Hubble Bubble Xmas Trouble

Last night I got the Xmas tree down from the loft so the kids can decorate it this evening.
I've just had a phone call - Mrs W has got home from work and - well let's just say it sounds like 4 month old twin kittens and Xmas trees aren't compatible.

Damage assesment awaits when I get home.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Sorry ......

..... I've not posted for a while but I've been indisposed.

I recently purchased a stuffed toy in the local charity shop for 20p - bargain !

Then I sold it at a car boot sale the other weekend for a quid. Result !! :-)

Ever since then I've been in hiding, certain fundamentalists of an unspecified religion are after me for making a profit out of a teddy bear.

(No more like this - I promise)

Monday, 26 November 2007

Fancy A Beer?

How about 150 and all different ?

On Sunday we were "out & about" and ended up in the village of Southwick. After a few minutes of wandering we came across the Southwick Brewhouse.

An old Victorian brewery situated behind the Golden Lion pub the brewery closed it's doors back in the 1950s. But it has now reopened, the upstairs as a small museum with everything as it was when it was operational, downstairs being a retail outlet that beer lovers can only dream of. Over 150 different bottled beers as well as local wines and other goodies. I ended up taking home a bottle of Liberation - that was the days free sample taster and I just had to buy a bottle, - and a bottle of Scarecrow because ..... well with that name I just had to didn't I.
If you're out that way it's well worth a visit, I'm sure I'll be going back - I still have at least another 148 to sample.

Southwick Brewhouse
(Click to enlarge, and more pictures)

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Up The Warriors

With the whole England set-up in total disarray and my own team, Southampton, acting in a pretty similar manner, it's time to give my "second favourite team" a mention.
Everyone has to have a "second favourite team" and they are often picked for the strangest of reasons, first team seen, like the kit, worked there for a while, great-grandad played for them etc etc.
Well mine is that other SFC Stenhousemuir. An obscure choice, a team forever in the lower reaches of the Scottish Leagues, but a team who's result I look for every week.

"Why them ?" I hear you ask.
It all stems from when I was a young boy in the late 60s/early 70s. Every lad my age interested in football will remember Shoot! magazine. Every year they produced a set of League Ladders similar to this one. Every team was printed on a "T" shaped tab that you pushed out of a card sheet and inserted them into the slots in their various leagues and re-arranged their positions depending on that Saturday's results. An exciting innovation for a schoolboy in the pre-computer and video game era. A printing error must have occurred because out of all of the clubs included Stenhousemuir was the only one whose tab hadn't been die-cut, I had to remove it from the card with scissors. I knew nothing about them but that was enough for their name to stick in my memory.

A couple of years later I discovered a "fascinating fact". When the main stand at Ochilview Park was built the architect forgot to put in any stairs for the supporters to gain access to the seats. This was the sort of quirkiness that I love and forever more Stenhousemuir has been the second result I look for every weekend (well just lately it's been the first, I don't need to look for Southampton's I know they will have lost).

They have done virtually nothing in all that time - promoted after finishing division 3 runners-up in the late 90s (soon to return from whence they came) and winning a couple of obscure cup competitions in the same decade . There have been plenty of seasons when promotion has looked a mere formality only for them to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory with a (one wonders if it is deliberate it happens so often) late season slump.

One day I hope to visit Scotland and take in a game. With crowds usually well under 1000 you can hardly get more back to grass roots than that. In the meantime I'll continue keeping an eye on their results, today they are at home to the mighty Forfar Athletic.

Come On You Warriors !

Thursday, 22 November 2007

England. Also-Rans To World Cup Winners The Wurzel Way

Up until Saturday evenings results I was seriously hoping that England would not qualify for Euro 2008 simply for the reason that failure might actually give the whole game - from the top downwards - the kick up the backside it needs. Of course with Israel's late winner we were in with a chance again and my hopes turned to not just qualifying but winning the group.

But of course, this is England we are talking about. The team that has perfected the art of, just when you think they have got things right, failing to perform when it's really required.

So what's the answer to England's problem. I can't see my solution ever being accepted but it would be drastic - the FA to give notice that come the end of next season they will no longer recognise the Premier League and only recognise the Football League. Teams would have the choice to stick with the PL or rejoin the FL (those that rejoin forming the top division along with the top teams from the existing Championship)

Up to 15 years ago (when Division 1 meant Division 1) the national team was the pinnacle of any players career. Whilst the clubs of course had to look after their own interests first it was considered an honour for a club to have one of it's players picked for the national team.

Along came the PL and that all changed. The money poured in, and the clubs were interested in just one thing - themselves. England became an inconvenience - not only to the clubs but to players as well. Let's face it, with so many of the worlds top foreigners playing in the premier league, and the majority of the England team also playing regular Champions League quality opposition, being "forced" to play against the likes of Russia Israel and Croatia must seem like a comedown, not to mention the likes of Andorra and Macedonia. The PL and the CL is where the money is, and that's all the clubs - and it would seem the players are interested in.

The FA is the ruling body of the game in this country but they have been weak. Firstly they allowed the PL to happen, then they gave it so many concessions they allowed it to become more powerful than themselves. They have to be brave and stand up and be counted.

So what happens if they stop "recognising" the PL. Similar to cricket in the 70's when Kerry Packer came along (and also recently in India and Pakistan who also have seen the advent of a breakaway league) you refuse to pick from players who play in it. Short term it could be disastrous but long term it will sort out those players who really think that playing for their national side is their ultimate goal. Clubs will have the choice - rejoin the proper Football League or stay in the non recognised PL. If fans of clubs were given a vote I would hazard a guess that most would prefer going back to the "old way". It can be done. Slightly different but the Italian FA long ago issued an edict that they would not pick players that went abroad to play in foreign leagues - so their stars all get regular games in their own league. Remind me, who are the current World Cup holders?

Next the FA constitution be changed so that the whole ethos of English football is to improve the national side to the best of it's ability. The rules of the league competition be changed that - picking a figure at random - 8 of any squad picked for any individual game must qualify to play for the national side. I don't believe the argument of EU employment law would ever stand up if challenged, a club could employ as many foreigners as it liked, but under the rules of the competition it has entered it would be restricted to how many could appear at any given time. I'm sure EU employment rules also say women must be given equal employment rights but the existing competition rules ban them from playing in the same team as men.

Next make the rules of the competition include a salary cap. I favour an overall wage bill as a percentage of turnover. That rewards clubs who build up big followings over the years as pre-PLC ManUre did, plus it keeps the options open to go for a few superstars or a bigger squad of more average players. The cream of English football should then be playing as first choices for their clubs, competitively every week. And the likelihood is they will be spread amongst more clubs, creating a more level playing field for the League competition. If any have chosen to stay in the PL (if it still existed) or maybe a breakaway European League, purely for the money then sod them, England don't need people of that attitude playing for them anyway.

It would take time but eventually we would get back to an era when players took pride in the white shirt and clubs felt that they had a sense of worth and weren't simply there to make up the numbers.

Of course none of this will happen. The dinosaurs at the FA (now saddled with the debt of a (roofless) national stadium need the PL and will suck up it's every whim.

Oh and another step would be to appoint a national team manager who picks the best players to fit his favourite system, NOT a system to fit his favourite players. It worked in '66.

It all seems so easy sat here.

PS For the summer I shall consider myself Spanish

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Happy Birthday To Me

Just realised but Wurzel's World is one year old today
So I've treated myself to blogger's new fangled little gizmo that creates a little slide-show of some of my latest photos.
Find out more - or get yours - HERE

We're On Our Way To Wembley

We're on our way to Wembley
(click picture to enlarge)

I thought this picture was lost for ever, but I found it during a rummage through the attic today.

This was from the front page of the local (as it was called then) Southampton Evening Echo on 1st May 1976.(I am now reliably informed that the photo was in fact from our trip to the semi-final, see comments section) No Southampton fan will need reminding what that day was, it was the day the Saints went to Wembley as huge outsiders and won the FA Cup, beating the mighty Manchester United 1-0 (Bobby Stokes 83rd minute God rest his soul).

I went on a coach organised by the Running Horse (later to be renamed Wig & Pen ) pub, which was situated up an alleyway next to the Echo Office. (Both the pub and the Echo Office are long gone, demolished to make way for the soulless West Quay Shopping Centre). Clearly the photographer hadn't intended too travel to far to find a subject for his photo. Although by the time he took it we were probably the only fans left in town - apparently our coach had broken down en route to picking us up and a replacement was frantically being sought - not easy on a day when virtually every coach south of London had already been commandeered. But eventually one turned up and we were on our way.

I have very few memories of the game itself, apart from our goal and the last 7 minutes (which seemed like 7 lifetimes). I do remember Man Utd hitting the woodwork from only a few yards out on about the 60 minute mark and just knowing then that it was going to be our day. Worryingly (it was to a sober 14 year old anyway) the stadium terracing - I was upper tier behind the goal - was literally bouncing like a trampoline for the final few minutes of the game.

I have clearer memories of the journey there and back than the match.
Like about 40 desperate men exiting the coach in a traffic jam to relieve themselves against a garden fence, just after the last had finished an extremely snobbish looking woman in a fur coat, nose in the air and walking a poodle had to negotiate 40 rivers of piss streaming across the pavement.
Being able to jump off the coach before it had got out of the Wembley coach park and buy an Evening Standard with the match report in it - (whether that was a reflection on the speed of the printers or the slowness of the Wembley traffic I'm not sure).
Travelling up to London every bridge on the M3 (was it a motorway back then? it might even have been the A33) being covered with banners and waving fans, and the same bridges on the way back with the same banners but around ten times the number of happy cheering fans.
Getting back off the coach in the centre of Southampton to find the whole City Centre had turned into a party zone. I wasn't around for the war but any film clips I have seen of V.E. Day had nothing on that evening !.
Two men - they're in the photo - playing banjos all the way there to get the coach singing. Along with the lack of replica shirts (unheard of in those days) the photo is a great example of how following football has changed over the years - and not necessarily for the better.

And I suppose I had better own up, I'm the one far right front row, split in half on the edge of the photo. Did I really dress and have hair like that ?!?!?!

Tuesday, 13 November 2007


Spotted in Tesco this evening
Penguins - Packs of 18
2 for £2-.


Monday, 12 November 2007

We Shall Remember Them

On Sunday I went to a local Remembrance Day service at nearby Hedge End, where my stepson was taking part in the parade with his cub pack. Despite being a relatively small town of about 18000, it was pleasing to see around a thousand people or more in attendance. It was also good to see how many young boys and girls were attending representing local groups from the Scouts and Guides Associations. These groups, if uniform sales are anything to go by, are certainly seeing a resurgence of interest in recent years.

I thought the service itself was very respectfully done. Held around the village war memorial it did what it said on the tin, being an opportunity to reflect and remember with only the slightest of religious undertone.

It was an overcast day, thankfully the rain held off until minutes after the service ended. There was a very poignant moment when, as the 2 minute silence ended and the bugler played the last post, the sun broke through the clouds to shine brightly just for the few seconds it took for the the various assembled groups to raise their dipped flag standards, and then it was gone again. If a Hollywood movie had done it it would have been corny, yet in real-life it seemed so symbolic.

The one aspect of the service that really brings home the effect that the wars - particularly the first - had on the local communities is the reading of the roll call of the fallen. The list of names seemed endless - as it does when read at the service in my own village of Bursledon - yet the population of both villages at that time would have been but a tiny fraction of what they are today. It relly must have seen virtually every family affected in some way.

The whole Remembrance Day / Poppy Appeal is part of our English way of life. With so many aspects of our national identity being eroded (usually through a misguided fear of upsetting other nations) this is one tradition that should never be allowed to die. If I have a criticism, it would be that it's "reason to be" seems to concentrate too much on the two world wars. I only recently realised that despite us living in an era of "peace" there has only been one year - 1968 - since WWII ended that we haven't lost a British serviceman on active service. Whilst they continue to make the ultimate sacrifice we must continue to make this small but important effort to ensure that they are never forgotten.

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Over To The Dark Side

I've been experimenting with some different blog templates and I like the look of this one. The dark background gives me an excuse to post the photo below. I've been "getting into" photography for about a year now, this one is definitely one of my favourites.

Let Battle Commence

A click on the photo takes you to my Flickr photostream where lots of others can be viewed.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Alfie the Seal - Update 3

Further to previous posts about "Alfie" the seal I've now received a new update from Sue.

Thought you'd like an update on this seal - he was hauled out on a wild seal haul out beach today fast asleep. He has had a busy October, for a few weeks he was beachmaster (dominant male) on a local breedng beach, but he soon got ousted by a bigger stronger male! So he has earned his rest. Good to know that he is looking fit and well, as the wound he has in the photo continued to bleed until 22/08/07, when he was photographed by Clive at the Carracks west of St Ives. I couldn't tell today whether it had healed, but I assume it has!

Nice to know he's doing Ok

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Stacy Hedger

Never heard of her ? Neither have I.

But my Mum has.

She seems to think that because I "go on the internet" I've seen everything on it. She heard something about Stacy Hedger being on the internet and thought I would have seen it. Apparently, according to Mum, she's a violinist. Close - but not quite Mum !

One google search and a few seconds later and I know all about her now.

Here she is in all her glory. Enjoy ! :-)

Found One !!!

I went out of the back gate today and there lying on the pavement was an eighteen inch long slightly scorched stick in otherwise pristine condition.

Yep. I've found my first "back down to earth" rocket stick of the year.

As kids, the competition to see who could find the most spent fireworks on the morning of November 6th was often more exciting than the big night itself. The bigger the better. And today's stick would have been worth at least 5 points. It's a shame that bonfire "night" nowadays seems to be bonfire "fortnight" but it means I have a couple more weeks to score as many points as I can.

The Golfing Bug

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Just eight short weeks ago I played golf for the first time for ages and ages. Yesterday I had my fourth game in 8 short weeks.

So far there's been no real improvement - a 3 point spread covers my 4 round totals to date - but I'm determined there will be. Two consecutive good shots would be a start.

Yep, the bug has well and truly bitten. At least it makes the "what can I get you for Xmas" question a bit easier to answer.

Film Of The Year

Last evening we went to the cinema to see Stardust. With Mrs W and the 2 L'il Wurzels I just went along for the ride, there was no way I was going to like it.

It was a fairy tale - they're for kids.

Set in a fantasy world - I hate those.

It was a romance - they're for girls.

So I sat through 2 hours plus - and loved every minute of it !!!

This is one of the best films I have ever seen , certainly the best this year.

Certainly not aimed at young kids, the PG rating should have indicated that. It's a long time since I've seen a cinema so full, and full of men and women of all ages (and a few kids as well). All I can say is it was a great story, which unusually for fantasy adventures was easy to follow and made total sense. Some great performances from the likes of Robert de Niro, Clare Danes, Rupert Everett, Sienna Miller, Peter O'Toole to name but a few. And funny? Certainly not an outright comedy but there are real laughs all the way through.
I defy anyone to see this film and not enjoy it and come out feeling good (if you don't then you must be a heartless old fart with no sense of humour but you probably can't help that) EDIT: 5 minutes after typing this my brother and family called in - they'd just seen it as well, they enjoyed it, he didn't, say no more. ;-)

Oh and one other big reason to see it.

Did I mention Michelle Pfeiffer is in it too?

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Confessions Of A Rugby Virgin

Ok I gave it a try (pardon the pun).

On Saturday evening I sat through my first full 80 minutes of televised rugby to watch England reach the World Cup Final for the second time in a row.

Now don't get me wrong, I can recognise pride passion and commitment in any sport, and was obviously pleased that we had beaten "Les Bleus".

But I must confess, as a game ruby simply leaves me cold.

I can't help but compare it with "proper"football. In that game the ball is always clearly visible, and even a newcomer watching the game should - with the exception of offside - have a pretty basic grasp of the rules after 15 minutes or so. But I found myself watchig 80 minutes of a major sporting event and not having a clue what was going on.

Half the game seemed to be spent with the ball out of sight under a pile of players, which would end with the referee blowing his whistle for a penalty, semingly awarded (to the novice eye) totally randomly. In football part of the attraction of watching the game is to shout for a fol, then cheer or ridicule the referee depending on his decision. In rugby it seems to be sit cluelessly watching untill the referee makes an unfathomable decision.

I could only make out two discernible tactics. One was for the team to advance forward en masse, passing the ball from one to the other across the pitch. This, whilst looking exciting only seemed to have two possible outcomes, either for the player with the ball to change direction and run into an opponent or for the whole team to simply run out of space and/or men to pass to. The other tactic was to catch or pick up the ball and kick it into the crowd.

No doubt some of my rugby loving friends will be reading this with disgust. I'll give it another go for the final, after all it is England whatever the sport. But before then, will somebody, please, explain it all to me. !

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Wreck On The Hamble

Walking along the banks of the River Hamble recently this impressive wreck caught my eye.


Whilst the river is dotted with wrecks of old boats and riverside docks, this was by far the most prominent. A quick google search found this site, but I couldn't find any detailed information. A quick e-mail brought this response.

At present I only have a small amount of information about the wreck. I have talked to a few local people who have informed me that it is the remains of the Brixham Trawler ‘Terminist’ . Although I must admit I am not 100% about this identification as this vessel’s registration number was BM321 and the hulk appears to have the number BM123 on its port bow. Hopefully future research will throw some light on this. We have entered the vessel on our website (HAM044), but at the moment there is little information there, something I aim to address in the future.

The recording of these vessels is an ongoing process, with the results being entered in the local archives. This project relies on the assistance of volunteers. So if you have the free time and would like to be involved with archaeologically recording the vessels and maritime structures of the river you would be more than welcome.

A great example of how the internet is able to spread knowledge and share it quickly, although the knowledge in this case is, by the author's own admission, far from certain. Next time I am down that way I'll do my best to get some more detailed photos. Maybe they could go towards solving the mystery.

Monday, 8 October 2007

First Of The Year

I went to the doctor's this morning. (No, that's not the first time.)

I don't have to go back for three months.

So when I left today, 8th October, she became the first person this year to ........

.... wish me a Happy Christmas !!!!!!!

(and there's me still waiting for the Summer to start)

Saturday, 6 October 2007

New Cats / Old Cat League Table

Dumps On Living Room Carpet League

Salem - Lifetime Record - NIL

Hubble and/or Bubble - After One Week - FOUR*

Carrier bags and bricks are ready, Itchen Bridge here we come.

*(includes one all over my cable tv remote control)

Thursday, 4 October 2007

Every So Often ....

... I fell the need to share one.

Out of the dozens and dozens of funny e-mails dropping into my inbox every week, most raise a smile, some raise the question "Why send me that?" and then the odd treasure now and again that,literally, makes me "Laugh Out Loud" and just has to be shared.

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

The New Kittens - Hubble & Bubble

Not the easiest to photograph, either sound asleep cuddling each other or awake and not staying still for a second.

And Ok, maybe they're growing on me.

So Off I Went To Woolworths ...

Me: "Are you stocking the Sex Pistols' single ?"
Woman behind counter: (pointing vaguely to the cd section) "Um is it on the list ?"
Me: "No, that's last weeks chart, it's only released today"
WBC: "Is it in the stand ?"
Me: "No that's for cds, it won't fit it's on 7 inch vinyl"
WBC: (looking at me as if I have just spoken in Swahili) "I'll check in here, who is it by again" and starts rummaging through a drawer full of cds .
Me: " Sex Pistols. But it won't fit in there either, it's on 7 inch vinyl "
WBC: (now looking at me like I have escaped from some sort of looney bin, but still searching through a pile of cds) " Nah, don't think we've got that one "

No further comment necessary.

Monday, 1 October 2007

Loss Of A Loved One

On Friday afternoon I received a garbled tearful phone call from Mrs W. Could I come straight home, Salem was dead.

I raced home to find her and the youngest L'il Wurzel in tears. Salem, the family cat, had indeed died, just a day or so before her first birthday. We've no idea what happened, a neighbour found her dead outside their back gate. She appears to have simply died on the spot, her body frozen in a walking pose. No apparent injuries, no cuts, no blood, eyes open. I've read of cats simply dropping dead on the spot due to some sort of heart defect (one to the extent of jumping from one chair to another and dying in mid air) and really hope it was something similarly quick so that she didn't suffer in any way.

It's amazing how quickly you can get attached to animals. Anyone sad enough to still be visiting my blog from almost a year ago will recall how reluctant I was to even get a cat . Yet less than a year on I haven't lost a pet but a little friend.

Mrs W was distraught and felt a need to immediately go and get another cat - not as a replacement as nothing ever will, but without Salem the house felt empty. I still can't understand her way of thinking - whilst I still wake up expecting a little black face to nuzzle into mine a new pet in the house seems just too soon. But with the little Wurzels on her side off they went and now we have not one but 2 new kittens, little white boy twins. As yet no definite names, I'm sure there'll be photos to post later.

Just as I did with Salem I'm sure I'll grow fond of them but at the moment I still miss my little mate.

Accounting ?!?!?!

I have just noticed that my profile stated that I am a member of the accounting industry !
@%*# knows where that came from .
Needless to say it's not true .

Sunday, 30 September 2007

Recognition Is Always Nice

I was contacted the other day by a lady from Schmap . She had seen one of my photos of Netley Abbey on my Flickr Photostream and asked if it could be included on one of the Interactive Travel Guides covering the Southampton area. (There's a miniature version at the end of this post)

It didn't take long to say yes. To be honest I didn't even think it was my best photo of the abbey but if they want to use it that's fine by me. I know that there are some professional photographers who get upset by this approach, seeing it as unpaid amateurs being exploited and depriving them of paid work. But at the end of the day I'd put the photo on Flickr because a) I was happy for others to see it and b) other users comments can give you an indiation as to where you are going right or wrong in what is after all just a hobby for me. And as the title says, recognition (even if it unpaid from a profit making organisation) is always nice .

Saturday, 22 September 2007

The Time Is Right To Do It Now ............

....... The Greatest Rock & Roll Swindle.

I have never been the sort to dismiss any type of music as rubbish simply because I don't like it. But, in my opinion, never in my memory has the current trend(s) in popular music been so bland.

But not for much longer ! The Sex Pistols are back!

No doubt they are, in reality, cashing in on the current trend of long forgotten groups (Police, Led Zeppelin etc etc) reforming in order to fleece their loyal fans one more time, but in their case it's a welcome and well overdue comeback.

They took the music world by storm in the 70s when they emerged from a world of tired glam-rock and disco. It was time for something different back then and by god is it time for change again (even if it's not actually change it's the same again just 30 years on).

Originally announcing just a one-off concert to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the release of Never Mind The Bollocks, 2 extra nights were swiftly added after the first sold out in just 10 minutes. Regrettably these two were also sold out before I even realised they were to take place.

But it's not just concerts. At weekly intervals throughout October their greatest hits will be re-released one at a time, starting on the 1st October with my all time favourite record Anarchy In The UK.

For those of us that loved it first time round it will be like the return of the prodigal son. For the kids today brought up on an exciting (italicised to emphasise the sarcasm) diet of souless hip-hop, r 'n' b, and indie (not to mention - and I'd sooner not - Coldplay) and you ain't gonna know what's hit you.

Saturday, 15 September 2007

This Keep Fit Lark..........

Not content with a few walks recently Mrs W has convinced me that when I get home this evening we are going on a bike ride ! She had a little difficulty at first, but she finally persuaded me when she said she would be wearing proper cycling gear like those girls in the picture ==>.
There's a lot of hills round our way so one way or another this aint going to do the old blood pressure any good at all .... this could be my last post for some time.

Thursday, 13 September 2007

The Things We Take For Granted

Since last weekend we've had no hot water.!

Our ancient boiler had been, for several days previous, randomly deciding whether it wanted to provide hot, cold or tepid water. Showers have started to take on dance manoeuvres that even Arlene Phillips would have found hard to criticise. A quick wash in cold water was just about acceptable, but a shave required a trip upstairs with the kettle.

It's the second time in a year or so that it's done this. Out came the gas engineer who confirmed my suspicions - it was time to send it to the great boiler-maker in the sky.

We've bodged it up (it's hot - sometimes - but I keep having to go out to the garage to relight the pilot) till next Wednesday when he can install a nice shiny spanking brand new one. It's times like this that make me realise what comparative luxury we live in. My parents generation still had tin baths in front of the fire, and millions all over the world still travel daily to the well just to have any water at all. Then again, they're used to it and I'm not. My next hot shower could be the longest one ever.

Monday, 10 September 2007

Wedding Bells

On Saturday I attended the wedding of 2 good friends. It was a wonderful day, someone was certainly looking after them weather wise. Having reached the age where I'm more likely to be invited to friends funerals than weddings it was a rare pleasure.

During the speeches I couldn't help but thinking forward to our wedding next year. It made me realise how much organising is involved to make a wedding day run smoothly. But then we've still got (according to that little countdown thing on the left) 257 days to get things sorted. That's ages ....... isn't it ?

Saturday, 8 September 2007

A Quick 9 Holes

Today I had a game of golf.

A friend getting married later in the day (no doubt more about that later) decided that a good way of relaxing in the morning would be a quick 9 holes . I hadn't played for about seven years or more and I was shite then but I thought I'd give it a go.

What a perfect way to pass a few hours on a beautiful September morning. I came last - as expected - but their was only 3 shots between the four of us so (positive view) I near enough held my own or (negative view) the other 3 are almost as shite as I am .

In the past I used to judge the success of a round not on shots taken but balls lost. My good friend Snopper would be proud of me, in 9 holes I lost 2 but found 4.

The one worrying outcome of this is that I have spent 3 years finding excuses (back injury, knee injury, shoulder injury etc etc) not to play against Mrs W - she sounds like she's (worryingly) pretty good at the game. When (negative)/If (as positive as I can get) she beats me I'll never hear the last of it. Never. Ever. After coming home injury free and having fully enjoyed my morning I have now run out of reasons to say No.

Friday, 7 September 2007

More Rubbish From The Press

Today the Daily Mirror reported that my team Southampton's manager had cleared his desk and was leaving the club.

Within a couple of hours Burley himself had phoned the local radio station to put the record straight and the club's Official Site had also published a denial (quite possibly their quickest reaction yet to any story).

How can newspapers get away with continuously printing stories that are so blatantly false ? I guess as long as people keep buying them they'll carry on doing it - I rarely bother myself these days.

Although being a lifelong Saints fan I can't help thinking that like most other stories about our club over the years there's no smoke without fire.

Thursday, 6 September 2007


Normally we shop at Tescos (there's a huge one half a mile up the road) for all of our food shopping for no other reason than it is convenient. But for the last few weeks we have been getting our fruit and veg from a local farm shop (also half a mile away in the other direction so why haven't we done it before?).

The difference between their produce and Tescos (and no doubt the other big supermarkets) can be summed up as:-
  • More taste
  • Less cost
  • More choice
  • Less packaging
It gives me a good feeling knowing that we are now eating more healthily, helping a local business survive against the big boys and also being able to buy what we want, not a limited range of pre-packed quantities. And of course the lack of needless packaging means I'm doing my environmental "bit"as well - so everyone's a winner.

Next step is to start using a decent butchers !

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

A Breath Of Fresh Air

I am lucky to live where I do, there is so much open space within a short drive.
On Sunday we (Mrs W and I) took a trip down to the New Forest to follow a short route described in a book of forest walks. The directions were a little vague to say the least and we soon weren't quite sure if were on the right track. Eventually I (well someone has to be in charge) decided we would make it up as we went along. After an hour or so we found ourselves - much to Mrs W's amazement and relief - back close to where we started.
When you're working indoors all day during the week it's great to be able to get out like that, stretching the legs and breathing some fresh country air. Ending it as we did with a visit to a proper country pub makes it even better.
Getting home from work on Monday it was a beautiful evening. I was up for another one so I convinced Mrs W housework could wait for another time nd off we went. Just a couple of minutes from home and we were parking the car and taking a walk of about 5 miles down the bank of the river Hamble and back. Totally different scenery to the day before but just as enjoyable.
Oh, and that one involved a pub stop at the halfway point - there seems to be a theme developing here.

Friday, 31 August 2007

Alfie The Seal - A Further (Not So Happy) Update

One of the best things about the internet is the interaction between total strangers, and the way it makes it possible to obtain and/or pass on information between people that would otherwise have no way of contacting each other.

Following my story about "Alfie" the seal and it's subsequent update a lady called Sue has spotted my pictures of the seal on my Flickr photos and passed on the following messages.

Hi Wurzel
Just thought you'd like to know, this is definitely not one of the Sanctuary released seals. Neither is his name Alfie - all St Ives seals seem to be called Alfie! He is a seal known to the Cornwall Seal Group ( as DP144 White Propeller. He was first identified on 17/02/04 and has been seen 36 times since. He is seen on the east side of the bay in the early and late part of the year. The only time he has been seen in the Summer months is at the Carracks - which is where you saw him I think? We don't know where he spends the rest of his year. He is a young adult male seal with a big appetite! Unfortunately he has learned that he can get easy meals from boats - after being fed by people in St Ives harbour. Associating boats with food can have disasterous consequences for seals, so his behaviour is very worrying. Thanks so much for posting your excellent photos and videos. I will add your sighting to our seal database.

Hi Wurzel - just posted a comment on your other photo of 'Alfie' and realised that it looks like he has already suffered as a result of his interactions with people and boats in the harbour. This photo seems to show a small wound that has been bleeding recently on the right side of his neck. I have seen this sort of injury before caused by mackerel line hooks. We really need to try to persuade people that feeding wild seals in harbours encourages the seals to change their behaviour. This so often results in the seal becoming injured. It is a sad story for such a beautiful photo!

So it seems like "Alfie" and maybe others like him could be suffering through the boat trip organisers exploiting their behaviour to make their trips more popular with no regard for the seal's wellbeing. No doubt we aren't the only gullible tourists unaware of the consequences, I feel quite sad that we had not realised at the time.

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Respect At Anfield

A while back I criticised Liverpool fan's for their behaviour at this year's European Cup Final in Athens. Today I am happy to say that they have redeemed themselves.

The Liverpool and Everton rivalry is one of the more friendly ones in British football. Beating each other on the the pitch is for some the be all and end all of their season but once the final whistle blows there seems to be a (possibly grudging) mutual admiration for each other. This was summed up perfectly following the tragic consequences of the Hillsborough Disaster in 1989 - the loss of 96 Liverpool fans was felt just as deeply by their rivals as it was themselves. It seemed fitting that they played each other in that years final, with both sets of fans singing "Merseyside" together throughout the game.

This week, due another tragic event, the fans have again shown great solidarity. Following the senseless murder of 11 year old Rhys Jones ( an Everton fan) - shot dead as he returned home from football training - Everton themselves and their fans paid their respects on Saturday with a minutes applause for the young lad. Last night Liverpool fans showed their solidarity. At Liverpool fans' request Everton's theme tune Johnny Todd (better known as the theme from Z-Cars) was played before the teams came out at Anfield. Members of the Jones family received an emotional standing ovation as they stood on the pitch in their Everton strip. It's a cliché I know, but as the tune played over the speakers - something most probably thought would never happen at that ground - the respectful silence was deafening. The applause afterwards definitely was. As I listened live on the radio I couldn't help but think back to the time Portsmouth fan's showed how low they could stoop by ruining a minutes silence for club stalwart Ted Bates OBE - yet they make claims to be the best supporters in the land. Hopefully a few would have hung their heads in shame last night.

It some ways it was a little surreal. It was the type of occasion usually reserved to remember a deceased player or respected figure. Yet this was for an 11 year old boy, probably never even heard of by the vast majority until his untimely death. I guess this was a way for 40,000 people to show not just their support for Rhys' family but also their disgust for what happened - maybe just maybe this could be the trigger for everyday people to finally stand up against the gun thugs destroying our communities. Clearly the government has no serious intention of tackling the problem.

The video above is a fans eye view of last nights event . Not the best visual quality ever but just listening to it made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end.

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Elvis Lives - yawn

No !. He doesn't.
The guy died 30 years ago. I'm sick to death of hearing about him - yet again - this week.
Ok , he might have been original when he first hit the big time - original in a "white man steal black man's music" kinda way - but he was never more than an average pub singer talent wise.
I'm sure the biggest reason for the longevity of his popularity is that damned anagram.

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Alfie Update

Simon from has kindly contacted me regarding my previous post . He has heard about Alfie before and has passed me the details, the full story can be found HERE.

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

No Sign Of The Shark

We had a great week down in Cornwall, luckily picking the best week of the year so far weather-wise.

We packed loads into our seven days. Probably our favourite "day out" was a boat trip from St. Ives harbour to Seal Island a few miles down the coast. Just getting aboard was an adventure in itself, with the tide going out we had to be rowed out to meet our boat in a small rowing boat. Twelve of us finally clambered aboard to join the skipper and off we went . There was plenty of bravado regarding the media's favourite summer silly story beforehand, but strangely things went rather quiet as we crossed the bay where the great white had allegedly been filmed. Suddenly a large fin was spotted in the water about 20yards from our boat. Whatever it was was huge, about 4ft between dorsal fin and tail, but it soon became obvious it was no shark, the fin was far too floppy. The skipper later confirmed it to be a sunfish.

Advertised as a "see the seals" trip I fully expected a few indistinct blobs in the distance. I was happy to be proved wrong. Approaching the island a large seal (I'd guess at 8-9ft long) was spotted basking on a rock. As we came closer it soon became apparent that it wasn't alone, around 30 or 40 huge seals (I had no idea they were so big) were serenely sunning themselves only 20 ft or so from our boat. Then, to everyone's surprise , out swam Alfie. Alfie is the only one of the group (what is the collective noun for seals ?) happy to approach the boats . It is thought he may have been injured and looked after at one of the local seal sanctuaries before being released back into the wild, hence his lack of fear of humans. He swam right out to our boat and one by one stared each and everyone of us in the eye. He clearly knew that there would be a few fish coming his way and all the kids aboard took turns throwing them out for him to dive for and basically show off to his latest audience.

This was definitely one of the highlights of our holiday - the boat trip itself was well worth the money, but seeing such a creature up close in it's natural habitat was a sight we''ll never forget. If you fancy meeting Alfie look out for the touts around St. Ives harbour - we went with Sea Horse boat trips but there may well be others. Apparently the best time to view the seals is as the tide is on it's way out exposing the rocks. We were lucky, we timed it right purely by chance but it may be worth checking the tide times to avoid disappointment.

My video of Alfie

Saturday, 28 July 2007

Off to St Ives

So it's off to St Ives tomorrow morning, just getting myself into Cornwall-mood

Step 1. Check the local weather (see previous post) - looking good :-)

Step 2. Listening to Atlantic Fm online whilst a work today - that's it I'm almost there :-)

Step 3. Check out the local news - oh bollix :-(

Now if I can just find a bottle of Doom Bar in a local off licence ......

Summer Starts Tomorrow

Tomorrow - Sunday 29th July 2007 - at 8 a.m. we're heading off to Cornwall for a weeks holiday. Hopefully we'll arrive at Noon. I've had a word with him upstairs ( you know the score, kneeling at the end of my bed, hands together, eyes closed) and I've arranged for summer to start at that very moment

Having written this completely tongue in cheek I've just checked the 5 day forecast for St. Ives courtesy of the Met Office (and they should know, the own the weather) . Lo and behold ...

Today 19°c rain (don't care about today)

Sunday 18°c 3 a.m. Rain
6 a.m. showers
9 a.m Light cloud (on our way)
Noon Sunny Intervals (arriving about now)
3 p.m. Sunny Intervals (lunch/unpacking)
6 p.m. SUN (Beach)

Monday 21°c SUN !

Tuesday 22°c SUN !!

Wednesday 20°c SUN !!!

I am NOT making it up . Maybe there's something in this praying lark after all !

Saturday, 21 July 2007

Life's Not Fair Is It.

For an hour last evening, along with Mrs Wurzel, I trudged my local streets, one eye on the foreboding dark clouds above, pulling behind me one of those dayglo yellow trolleys. I was delivering this weeks "Advertisers".

Before you get me wrong, it's not my round. Things haven't sunk that low - yet. It's my daughters' - I'm just covering it for them whilst they are in Florida. Yes that's right - Dad is trudging the streets dodging the showers whilst the kids are living it up in WaltDisneyWorld and no doubt sunbathing to their hearts content. As the title says (courtesy of evil Uncle Scar in The Lion King) Life's not fair is it ! Although to be fair it's a suitable payback for when Mrs W and I went to Disney a couple of years ago and left them all behind.

To be honest, I quite enjoyed doing "the round". My sense of natural curiosity was on overdrive at having the opportunity of a good nose through peoples windows under the pretext of stuffing a rolled up newspaper through their letter box . And by pure luck we managed to time the deliveries to coincide with a bunch of Jehovahs Witnesses doing their "round", they were more than happy to walk up quite a few garden paths for me.

So all in all, it wasn't too bad, a bit of exercise in the fresh air combined with a chance of a good nose. But don't tell the girls, they'll have me doing it every week.

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Cornwall Get's A Bit Closer

The 222 mile trip from Bursledon to St Ives is becoming a regular trip for me, I reckon the car will soon be able to do it on it's own. Usually I allow five hours for the journey and am then pleased to do it in four and a half. But this weekend saw the journey time drop considerably.

My Dad had gone down to our holiday home alone and was taken ill necessitating an unexpected trip for me and my brothers to collect both him and his car. Leaving at the unusual time of 2pm on a Sunday afternoon we were pleasantly suprised at the lack of traffic on the M27 and around Wareham, giving us a much better start than usual. Later in the journey came even better news, the long awaited Bodmin - Indian Queens Bypass across Goss Moor was finally open. We arrived, with sensible driving throughout, including a very slow stretch due to thick fog on Bodmin Moor, just 3 hours 45 minutes after leaving home. Returning home shaved another 5 minutes off.

Admittedly the time of day was in our favour, virtually no traffic the entire journey to delay us. But new record time's like that almost bring St Ives into the day-trip category. And records are made to be broken.

Sunday, 15 July 2007

Race For Life

This morning Mrs W, along with 10,000 other women took part in the Southampton Race For Life, a 5km charity run raising money for Cancer Research Uk. She managed to run it in a very comendable 30 minutes, proving that even now she can still live up to her FAF nickname.

But the whole point isn't the time ,it's the taking part and raising money for a good cause. To see so many women of all shapes and sizes, from fit young girls to old ladies barely able to walk unaided, all willing to give up a bit of time and effort to help others was very humbling. Mrs W entered as part of a team along with 27 workmates, I'm not sure how much they raised between them but congratulations to all of them and everyone else who took part.

Friday, 6 July 2007

Big Respect To The Arctic Monkeys.

Tomorrow sees a series of worldwide concerts under the banner of Live Earth. Yet another cynical attempt by pop-stars to promote themselves to a world audience whilst patronising their fans with claims to support the latest cause.

It's no secret that I think the global warming/climate change theory is a load of bollix, having been measured over far too short a time scale to indicate anything other than a "blip" on the millions of years of our climate history. But that's not the argument here, it's the hypocrisy of the stars taking part that gets to me.

So how refreshing to see the Arctic Monkeys (among others) criticising the event. As they point out, they are always jetting around the world nowadays, and their latest stage show uses enough energy to power 10 houses and that's just for the stage lighting alone.

Pop stars who practice what they preach - what a novel idea. I might even buy one of their records out of respect.

Sold Out? - Clearly this is one group that hasn't.

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

It's Still Raining !

Not a lot to report. Except it's STILL raining.

On and off, we see the occasional blue sky but it rarely lasts more than half an hour.

Time to start drawing up plans for an ark I reckon.

Oh, that reminds me, what did the "global warming, err, sorry no, we mean climate change" men of wisdom predict for us? Long hot dry summers. !!!

Yeah right !!!!

(See snazzy new poll thingy top left)

Saturday, 30 June 2007

Create A Radio Station Of Music YOU Like.

A friend sent me details of this great site.

Basically it's an online radio station tailored to suit you're musical taste. You enter the name of a song or artist that you like. It can't play that particular one straight away (licensing rules) but what it does is find something it knows you will like based on your selection. It will continue to select tracks you'll like, and you can rate each track with a thumbs up or down, enabling it to fine tune your "likes" even more, creating a radio station just for you.

With all the thousands of songs out there it's amazing how it picks the right ones - I find I give the thumbs up to about 9 out of 10. And you can have as many "stations" as you like, reflecting your musical mood of the day.

Give it a try - it's free. You need to register, minimal details required which includes a USA zip-code. I used 300097.

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Netley Sports Cricket Club

Netley Sports Cricket Club, originally uploaded by Wurzel.

My Dad brought in this old press cutting the other day. It was from, (we think) 1970 when Netley Sports CC had just won the Southampton Parks Cricket League for the 4th consecutive time. I remember all the faces in the photo although sadly three, to my knowledge, have since passed on.

It was around that time that I was allowed to start making up the numbers when they were short, even though was only 8. When I say making up the numbers, I was allowed to field at third man every over - anyone au fait with fielding positions will know what a pain that must have been.

It was only a few years later that I was allowed to bowl the odd over, and one game took 5 for 5 !!! (figures I've never bettered since). As we came off the umpire told me that I could have got a couple of l.b.w. decisions as well - I didn't tell him I had been too shy to appeal.

I enjoyed some great times playing in that league, the best, for those that know Southampton, were played in Hoglands Park where there was never any shortage of spectators.

The Southampton Evening Cricket League is one of the oldest cricket leagues in the country. In it's heyday it had over 70 teams playing every week. Sadly now the numbers are reduced to just 26, a reflection on a combination of lack of youngsters coming through schools cricket and the state of local pitches due to lack of council funding to maintain them.

Sunday, 17 June 2007

Nothing Is Impossible

Yesterday we took the kids back to Chessington World of Adventure. Amongst the attractions was one of those typical "rip off" stalls that you see at fairs and fetes. A rope ladder, at an angle of approximately 30 degrees, secured at the bottom and top by single central attachments. If you managed to get to the top (hands and feet only, no lying down, no knees, no hanging below etc etc) and ring the bell you win a cuddly dragon. Of course nobody ever wins, the ladder always pivots at some point, you end up dangling below it, and off you fall.

L'il Wurzel wanted a go.

"No" I told her, "it's impossible, no-one ever wins these things"

"I can do it" she insisted. In fact she was so insistent I thought it would be worth the £1 just to shut her up.

So off she went, onto the ladder and slowly and very carefully edged her way up rung by rung. There was hardly a wobble as she got higher and higher with a look of grim determination on her face. Before we knew it, and to the visible disappointment of the operator, she reached out and with a huge smile rang the bell.

I have never seen such a look of satisfaction and " told you so" on a child's face. And there must have been a look of pride on mine.

Sometimes it's great to be proved wrong.

Chester the Dragon - the big prize.

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Crime & Punishment.

I've been driving now for over 27 years and up till now had a clean licence. But a couple of weeks ago I failed to spot on of these sneaky buggers (pictured left) in time. My own fault, it's a route I do every week, I knew it's a speed trap zone, I obviously wasn't concentrating .

Today I've had the letter through, offering a Fixed Penalty of £60 plus 3 points .

Fair enough I guess, I'll take it. I've got the option of going to court but at the end of the day I was speeding (50pmh in a 40 zone) so I have no defence (for once my usually fertile imagination has let me down) and no doubt I'll only end up with the same (or more) plus costs.

I've done some quick mental calculations, I reckon I've probably driven around 400,000 miles in my lifetime so far. At a guess I would say about 250,000 of those at least have been in excess of the speed limit. I like to consider myself a safe driver with only 2 minor knocks in that time. I'm certainly no boy racer ,but sticking to the limits just seems to damn slow.

Unlike many I'm not complaining about being caught. Of course it's frustrating. But the way I look at it, life's a game, you know the rules and you know the consequences if you get caught breaking them. Looking on the bright side I've got away with it for about a quarter of a million miles (sounds even more like that) so I haven't done too badly.

And I have to admit, since getting caught I have been driving more slowly ........ although I'm sure it'll wear off soon.

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

All clear

After another hospital appointment the specialist has decided that the original TIA (mini-stroke) diagnosis was incorrect. Having now had the chance to study all of the tests they show no lasting damage.
The tests have thrown up the severely under active thyroid and this is now considered to be the reason for my "attack" (for want of a better word), even though she can find no real link between thyroid and my symptoms that day. So I'm still a bit confused as to exactly what happened. But if it hadn't happened I would probably never discovered the thyroid problem, which, now I know about it and it's symptoms, explains a lot of minor seemingly unrelated things, and is easily treatable. Definitely the lesser of two evils.
At the end of the day, whatever happened that day, it's caused no damage, that's good enough news for me.

Monday, 11 June 2007


Just returned from another "get away from it all" weekend. (Details here).

There's something about the place I just love. It's worth every minute of the 9 hours in the driving seat there and back.

Next planned visit is end of July this time a whole week with the kids. Can't wait. :-)

Thursday, 7 June 2007

Kids - who'd have 'em?

Last night - in an effort to regain some enthusiasm to start playing again after my shoulder injury - we went down the park to watch some cricket.
Whilst we were there the two (not so little any more) kids started messing around resulting in the Junior Wurzel (14) getting hit right in the eye with a fir cone thrown by her sister Li'l Wurzel(12)
Seeing she was in some pain, and not taking any chances with eyes, I took her off to the walk in clinic.
They were short staffed and couldn't check eyes so sent us on to A & E.
Whilst driving to the hospital she texts Mrs W (who couldn't come with us as she had to pick up Jamie her son (10) from a party) saying "Walk in say we have to go to casualty".
2 minutes later her phone rings. It's Li'l Wurzel.
LW " We are on our way to the walk in centre"
JW "Didn't Deb see my text?, we have got to go to casualty"
LW " We're not coming to see you, Jamie has trod on a rusty nail and it's gone right through his foot!"

Thankfully both are ok - but Kids eh? - who'd have em ?

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

What on earth .....

....... is that ?

Apparently that's the new logo fro the 2012 London Olympics.

Designed at a cost of £400,000.

For once words fail me, clearly I am in the wrong job.

I've signed the online petition to have it replaced. I was the 17492nd person to sign it in less than 24 hours, in the time it took me to type this another 341 have done likewise .

If you want to add your name to the protest you can do so by visiting Online petition - Change The London 2012 Logo


Further to my post of 2 days ago Salem went off to the vets last night.

Yes, the same vet who has already confirmed twice he's a boy now tells us "What a lovely young lady you have there "

Oh and just to rub it in there's a strong possibility that he .... old habits die hard, I mean she ... could be pregnant, we need to wait 3 weeks to know. :-(

Monday, 4 June 2007

Paris off to prison

After shamelessly ensuring that her incarceration was timed for maximum exposure in the weekly celebrity magazines, Paris Hilton is finally behind bars.

Hopefully the L.A. County Sheriff has made sure the bars in the cell windows are extra close together otherwise the skinny "famous for being famous" bimbo will be slipping through them in no time.

Sunday, 3 June 2007

He's a She ?!?!

Regular readers of my blog will both remember that back last November we bought a kitten. A little boy kitten called Salem.

I never wanted a cat, but soon had to admit he was really cute and in no time at all grew to accept him as part of the family. Much as I would have preferred to have a dog (which I wouldn't whilst we both work) , watching my little boy cat grow up was almost as much fun

Well 6 months on it would appear that Salem is a girl !

When we bought him we were told he was a boy. Twice the vet has confirmed he is a boy. Our own visual checks, (see diagram left) whilst not the easiest thing to carry out on a cat who doesn't want his "private bits" inspected by all and sundry, gave us no reason to doubt his gender. We have been getting a little concerned at the lack of balls dropping now he has reached 8 months old but assumed it would be happening any time soon.

But this week Salem has been showing a few new "trends". He/she/it has started calling, raising it's bum off the ground and sticking it in the air (lordosis) and showing all the signs of estrus . All these are new terms to me but basically it means our little boy is a female and in heat ! We'll take her to the vet tomorrow for confirmation, but everyone we know who has any knowledge of cats is in no real doubt .

Fingers crossed there's no kittens on the way.

Tuesday, 29 May 2007

A True English Tradition

Yesteday I visited the Bat and Ball pub at Broad Half-Penny Down near Hambledon.

This pub is generally known as the "cradle of cricket" . In the late 18th Century, Hambledon CC, based at the pub and the pitch directly opposite, were the top team in the country, and consequently the whole world. Regularly they would take on, and beat, England themselves. And it was here that the rules of the game became standardised forming the game as we know it today.

The pubs bars are full of fascinating cricketing memorabilia covering hundreds of years, and to add a level of authenticiy to it's status as the home of England's Summer sport ........... it absolutely poured down !

Sunday, 27 May 2007

Marc Hom - I Thank You

Marc Hom is an excellent photographer.

I confess I have never heard of him till now, it's just an excuse to reproduce a couple of his excellent photos of the lovely Victoria Beckham.

Saturday, 26 May 2007

Cheeky Scousers No More

Ever since their heyday of the mid 70s Liverpool have been my third favourite team (for some strange reason Stenhousemuir are my second). This week they missed out on a chance of a 6th European Cup win. But the bigger, and much sadder, news story was the hundreds of fans with genuine tickets locked out of the stadium.

Reminiscent of our own FA Cup final days earlier the allocation of tickets given to the clubs involved in the match was totally inadequate. In this case Liverpool had 17000 out of a 63000 capacity. Surprisingly, of these only 11000 were available for "proper" fans, the club giving 6000 to corporate sponsors. It was never going to be enough.

An estimated 50,ooo travelled to Athens, the vast majority without tickets. Many of those made it to the game. Some paid extortionate black market prices, some bought fake tickets and some simply walked into the ground unchecked. It soon became apparent that the process for checking tickets couldn't handle hundreds turning up en-masse, and fans were admitted unchecked. No doubt word of this spread like wildfire adding further to the confusion. Eventually the stadium was full, with aisles blocked by the extra fans who had gained admittance, and UEFA (responsible for the allocation figures in the first place) decided to close the stadium for safety reasons. If you were still outside with a genuine ticket it was tough, and people complaining were met with intransigence, batons and pepper sprays.

Whilst the issue of allocation numbers needs reviewing in future no-one can be blamed for this chaos except Liverpool "fans" themselves. The only people they deprived of seats were their own genuine fans. And of all the fans in the world surely Liverpool's should be the most aware of the dangers of overcrowding in stadiums, with the death of 96 of their fans and another 766 injured in the Hillsborough disaster a memory that never will (nor should) go away. Yet still many were ready to put selfish greed ahead of their own and others safety with no care for the consequences.

For far too long Liverpool fans have got away with being "cheeky Scousers" for things that Leeds or ManUre fans would be condemned for. This week I think they may have lost that tag forever.

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

It's A Small World

"Where is Moldova anyway ?"* asked my Mum, only last Saturday whilst casting the occasional glance at the Eurovision Song Contest.

Today my shop received an online sale purchase from a customer in that very same country.

As Harry Hill would say - what are the chances of that happening?

*It's between Ukraine and Romania

Surrounded By Women

I was given 2 free tickets for a night at the theatre, it would have been daft not to use them. So last night Mrs W and I put on our finest and went off to see ........... The Vagina Monologues.!

I had a rough idea what it was about, having checked a few reviews online. Although a few early ones mentioned "anti-men" later reviews mentioned men "laughing loudest". So I thought I'd pluck up courage and brave it.

As we approached the theatre there were women everywhere. A whole coachload had just arrived and small groups huddled outside the entrance. I kept my head down as we walked briskly through the foyer and headed for the bar. I felt like a negro entering an Alabama drinking den. Whilst supping my (manly) pint of lager a quick game of spot-the-lezzer was proving just too easy although I was thankfully reassured when I heard the one with the beard speak, I wasn't alone after all !

Once we took our seats a quick look round the theatre made me realise that there were plenty of men there. Probably outnumbered about 30 to 1 but in a theatre the size of The Mayflower that's still a fair few, although I doubted that there would be much of a queue for the gents at half time.

The show itself, starring Sue Holderness, Jerry Hall and Claire King was great. It would be no good going if you don't have an open mind. At times the stories were very poignant, whilst much of it had the audience - including me and all the other men - nearly wetting ourselves with laughter. When I say nearly I think one women a few rows in front of us actually did.

If you get the chance Id recommend seeing it. But any gents going, make sure you take a lady with you.

Oh - and I learnt quite a few new words last night - I thought it was us men that were meant to be the crude, filthy minded half of the species